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Two therapists told me there are "red flags of abuse"...tell me what you think. - Page 7

post #121 of 143

Oh mama.  I don't know what to say.  I am so sorry you (both) are going through this.

 

FWIW I too (like some other pps that have chimed in) would not have put all the dots together until she told you about her brothers getting her to pull down her pants.  Please don't torture yourself with "what ifs".  You are doing amazingly.  You are such a strong mama for your girl.  You are a hero.

post #122 of 143

It is a sad, sad reality of life on this planet that we just cannot always protect our sweet children from everything bad that might happen to them. As a mother, all you have to do is your best. You are not called upon to be omniscient or omnipotent. Did you take steps to protect your daughter once you suspected something was going on? YES. Are you being an amazing advocate for her now, in spite of your own fear? YES. You are doing fine, mama, even when you feel guilty and terrified and unsure if you're doing the right thing. hug.gif

post #123 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterflyBaby11 View Post
 I could have done this, I could have done this better.  What if this?  What if that?  How could he allow this to happen?  How did I not see this coming?  I can't sleep, even with a PM.  Keep waking up, thoughts racing.  I just need my mind to "hush". 


Write something like this down and tape it to your mirror: "I did my best. Even the angels can do no more." (It's a quote from my grandma.)

 

You have done an amazing number of hard things this week. You called an made a report. You took your daughter to the doctor and told your suspicions. You took your daughter to the Advocacy Center. You stopped visits with her dad, even though he was trying very hard to bully and guilt you into letting him take her again. Did you know you had the courage to do that? That's huge. You've taken steps to break the cycle of abuse. You're getting help for yourself and your daughter. Be gentle with yourself. You are strong and you have done good things.

 

post #124 of 143

Major red flags. Like you said, some of the stuff is probably nothing...kids get UTIs sometimes, but put it all together and it's bad.

 

Be careful about the recording and such. Heard a similar case in CA and it backfired on the mom. Get a good attorney, and a good therapist...second opinions. They need to evaluate her immediately after there is abuse suspected or the credibility of the claims won't hold up in court....too many people can contaminate the case by talking to her about it before the evaluation. Sounds like you already had the evaluations..but you may need an expert in that area who can get some answers out of her...and it might be too late for that. I mean, you should still do it so you can get answers and help her, but it may not hold up in court.  

 

I think there is more to this story. What doesn't sit right with me is the fact that you let her see him to begin with when he has no legal rights to her....not just see him...spend 4 days with him! His name isn't even on the birth certificate? Why not? Sounds like he didn't want to be involved at that point...then changed his mind. Too bad. He needs to get a DNA test if he wants any claim to her. Please tell me there is a chance he may not be the real daddy!! 

 

If you really wanted her to see bio dad, you could have gone with her. Don't trust her with someone like that. Sounds like he was still manipulating and verbally abusing you and you were too scared to tell him "no". You needed to seek help to protect you and your daughter. Sounds like you have finally come around and are realizing that.

 

Maybe because of your past history with sexual and verbal abuse, you weren't able to see that you were putting your daughter at risk for letting her go see this irresponsible, horrible person...who was basically a stranger since you can't ever really know a liar...and his two stranger sons. It wouldn't surprise me if his son's turned out to be monsters...product of their environment. Keep in mind that dad may know of the abuse, and may be protecting them. Do you know anything about these boys she was staying with? Have they been in trouble before? Have they been sexually abused? 

 

With the way he treats her (leaves her with brothers, doesn't provide appropriate supervision, etc.), it sounds like he doesn't really care about her...only wants visitation because he knows it annoys you. Using her as a pawn.

 

You gave her the cell phone because she said she cries for you and her dad won't let her call you...then she calls you with the cell phone, and you hear him being irresponsible by letting a 4 yr old stay up at midnight to watch violent R rated films, and then she calls you an hour later, crying, saying she is scared....I don't know that I would have waited for that second phone call. What held you back from going to save her at that point? Fear? Maybe you could have brought a cop with you knowing it might get ugly. The cop could probably get him for kidnapping if it came to that.

 

It probably feels good to finally be able to put your foot down and protect your little girl. Stay strong and keep it up! 

 

post #125 of 143

Um. That's not helping.

post #126 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarroq View Post

 

I think there is more to this story. What doesn't sit right with me is the fact that you let her see him to begin with when he has no legal rights to her....not just see him...spend 4 days with him! His name isn't even on the birth certificate? Why not? Sounds like he didn't want to be involved at that point...then changed his mind. Too bad. He needs to get a DNA test if he wants any claim to her. Please tell me there is a chance he may not be the real daddy!! 

 

 

You know, responding to this thread with a bunch of criticism of what this mama has done in the past is not helpful. She is in a very painful situation, clearly loves her daughter, and is having to do all kinds of scary and difficult things to protect her. It's easy to look back (now that we have all of these facts laid out in front of us) and say that this little girl would have been better off never being left at her dad's house. It's a lot harder to see that when it's your own complicated life, and you have to make the best decisions you can as you go along without knowing how things are going to turn out.

 

Also, "please tell me there is a chance he may not be the real daddy"? What a weird thing to say. It is basically like saying, "Please tell me you were sleeping around a bunch and don't really know who your daughter's father is!" I can't imagine a situation in which I would ever think that's an appropriate thing to say to somebody.

post #127 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by laohaire View Post

Um. That's not helping.



truedat.gif

post #128 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by bodhitree View Post

It is a sad, sad reality of life on this planet that we just cannot always protect our sweet children from everything bad that might happen to them. As a mother, all you have to do is your best. You are not called upon to be omniscient or omnipotent. Did you take steps to protect your daughter once you suspected something was going on? YES. Are you being an amazing advocate for her now, in spite of your own fear? YES. You are doing fine, mama, even when you feel guilty and terrified and unsure if you're doing the right thing. hug.gif



Definitely this.

post #129 of 143

jmarroq, did you read the whole thread?

post #130 of 143
Thread Starter 


Thank you for all of the kind words and support. 
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post


Write something like this down and tape it to your mirror: "I did my best. Even the angels can do no more." (It's a quote from my grandma.)

 

You have done an amazing number of hard things this week. You called an made a report. You took your daughter to the doctor and told your suspicions. You took your daughter to the Advocacy Center. You stopped visits with her dad, even though he was trying very hard to bully and guilt you into letting him take her again. Did you know you had the courage to do that? That's huge. You've taken steps to break the cycle of abuse. You're getting help for yourself and your daughter. Be gentle with yourself. You are strong and you have done good things.

 



When DD was born, I vowed to protect her.  I talked the talk.  I had difficulty walking the walk.  You don't realize how terrifying it is until it's happening.  It would be like any of you, suspecting your husband of harming your children...and you have to make "the call" to investigate.  Terrifying.  I was terrified of falsly accusing someone.  Terrified of his reaction if it wasn't true.  Terrified of ruining his reputation/career.  Just terrified....

 

But nothing is more terrifying than knowing my child was hurt.  Nothing is more terrifying than NOT being her hero. 

 

I have a million questions and thoughts circling my mind.  But we don't have any updates.  For now, her and I are safe.  We both start therapy on Tuesday.  Now that things have calmed down, it's hard to wrap my head around any of this.  This has happened...but it's so unbelievable. 

 

I sincerely thank all of you for all that you've done and said.  The nice and harsh words...they all helped me make the phone call that will bring justice to my daughter. 

 

post #131 of 143

Abusers are terrifying, that is how they succeed in their abuse. The most successful ones are extremely subtle in their terror, so you don't even know what to be afraid of... does that make sense?

You are doing great, all things considered. Remember to breathe, let yourself cry and rage when you need those moments, don't think to hard about it right now (there is plenty of time for that in therapy) and give yourself a break. Do something fun. Eat ice cream and watch a movie in your pajamas... take a day trip somewhere special.... dance for no reason... do whatever makes you and your DD smile. You are in a difficult time, but there is still plenty to enjoy in life, and y'all need that as much as anything. blowkiss.gif

post #132 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by jess in hawaii View Post

Abusers are terrifying, that is how they succeed in their abuse. The most successful ones are extremely subtle in their terror, so you don't even know what to be afraid of... does that make sense?

You are doing great, all things considered. Remember to breathe, let yourself cry and rage when you need those moments, don't think to hard about it right now (there is plenty of time for that in therapy) and give yourself a break. Do something fun. Eat ice cream and watch a movie in your pajamas... take a day trip somewhere special.... dance for no reason... do whatever makes you and your DD smile. You are in a difficult time, but there is still plenty to enjoy in life, and y'all need that as much as anything. blowkiss.gif


The bolded is SO true and so damned important to remember...a good abuser has you walking around feeling like YOU are the crazy one...has you scared, but completely unable to articulate what it is you're scared of. It's like in a horror movie, where they use a liiiiitttle bit of scary music and SLIGHTLY darker lighting to make you squirm in your seat in absolute TERROR...but there is nothing ACTUALLY scary on the screen. It's the idea of something "not right" and really dangerous lurking in the dark corners that has you freaked. That's what subtle abuse is like...some creepy music and dark lighting...nothing overtly scary, but a general sense that you are in danger and that you'd better "keep your act together" and "do the right things".

 

OP.....DIVE INTO YOUR OWN MIND in therapy. REALLY try to shake as much of the baggage from your marriage to this scumbag as you can. You are SO FREAKING SMART for going into therapy right now, because it's going to help you sort your head out and make sense of where you're coming from with this dude so you can formulate a plan for moving forward, free from the traps and tricks that kept you in his fog for so long. It is going to help you immensely moving forward, to shake the past with him and feel truly free from his grips.


Do NOT be scared.....be alert.

Do NOT second guess yourself because of him....know the truth you fight for and hold it close to you.

Do NOT let him drag you into feeling like you are one woman, clutching a baby....fighting a tiger.

He is no tiger, he is a broken, sad person. At the end of life, true love and bliss and "all knowing" await us all when we go back to the stars or heaven or whatever....but some of us move up a level, closer to the light and love while others stay low low low...just as beloved by the universe and our creator, but not yet ready to break free from the ugly patterns of hate and violence and pain on this planet.

Mama, you are moving closer to the light....he is still so low in consciousness. You are living truth and love and goodness and he is living pain and fear and is trapped in anger. Pity him, for being so closed off from what is true and loving. It's sad. Really. You are not alone in your fight against him.....everyone here, everyone around the word who prays for mothers, all the forces of good in all people on this planet....this all marches with you toward your victory against this small, angry man. Every good person out there, with every beat of their heart, is sending a pulsing beat of love and encouragement to you...feel that and let it carry you when you feel too tired of this all to go on. We're all with you. heartbeat.gif

When you fight for RIGHT.....you never, ever fight alone. Do not be scared. Be joyous! Your DD is blessed to have you and you will be victorious....I can't wait to congratulate you!

 

post #133 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by ButterflyBaby11 View Post

...

 

But nothing is more terrifying than knowing my child was hurt.  Nothing is more terrifying than NOT being her hero. 

 

...

But you ARE. We can't always prevent every bad thing that happens to our kids. But we can keep our eyes open and prevent it from happening AGAIN.  You stopped it as soon as you realized there was something wrong. You ARE her hero. You didn't let it happen. It happened, and you are putting an end to it, and helping her through it.

post #134 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by bodhitree View Post

It is a sad, sad reality of life on this planet that we just cannot always protect our sweet children from everything bad that might happen to them. As a mother, all you have to do is your best. You are not called upon to be omniscient or omnipotent. Did you take steps to protect your daughter once you suspected something was going on? YES. Are you being an amazing advocate for her now, in spite of your own fear? YES. You are doing fine, mama, even when you feel guilty and terrified and unsure if you're doing the right thing. hug.gif



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post


Write something like this down and tape it to your mirror: "I did my best. Even the angels can do no more." (It's a quote from my grandma.)

 

You have done an amazing number of hard things this week. You called an made a report. You took your daughter to the doctor and told your suspicions. You took your daughter to the Advocacy Center. You stopped visits with her dad, even though he was trying very hard to bully and guilt you into letting him take her again. Did you know you had the courage to do that? That's huge. You've taken steps to break the cycle of abuse. You're getting help for yourself and your daughter. Be gentle with yourself. You are strong and you have done good things.

 



 



Quote:
Originally Posted by swd12422 View Post


But you ARE. We can't always prevent every bad thing that happens to our kids. But we can keep our eyes open and prevent it from happening AGAIN.  You stopped it as soon as you realized there was something wrong. You ARE her hero. You didn't let it happen. It happened, and you are putting an end to it, and helping her through it.


All these things, mama, all these things!! As much as we wish we were, as moms, we are not omnipotent mind readers. Its a hard, difficult path to be a mom and you are walking it spectacularly.  Do your best to not berate yourself, I know that's so  much easier said than done. Once things started to click, you took all the steps necessary. You are now on the road to things being taken care of. No one could've done any better than you did. Take some time to yourself, you need it. You are fighting a very necessary but wearing battle, don't forget about yourself a little here and there, too. You are doing great! 

 

post #135 of 143

I'm in tears here, mama. I hope that you are soon able to focus on the positive things you are doing for your daughter and forgive yourself for not acting sooner. You are her hero. No doubt. Your family will be in my thoughts. <3

post #136 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by BroodyWoodsgal View Post


You are not alone in your fight against him.....everyone here, everyone around the word who prays for mothers, all the forces of good in all people on this planet....this all marches with you toward your victory against this small, angry man. Every good person out there, with every beat of their heart, is sending a pulsing beat of love and encouragement to you...feel that and let it carry you when you feel too tired of this all to go on. We're all with you. heartbeat.gif
 

 


Agreed.. Well said.

 

post #137 of 143

I don't have anything to add, but just couldn't read without posting. You are a strong woman and most definitely a hero. grouphug.gif

post #138 of 143

OP you're a brave and amazing momma for taking action.  I am not suprised your daughter sees you as her hero... and I totally agree that this is just like you protecting her in a tornado or whatever was happening in that Walmart story you told.  Only difference is, a tornado/storm is very easy to perceive as a threat, and no one will judge you badly for yelling "STORM!" and trying to protect yoru daughter.  Child abuse is very different, as you've both experienced and are dealing with now.

 

OP it sounds like you've learned now that you should trust your momma instincts much much more.  I am really hoping that anyone else reading this thread, if you learn anything, it's this: no matter how hurtful/hard it is to think of someone you trust (or someone you fear) hurting your child, if your child has NEW SYMPTOMS that come up after visiting that person, you must must must look into it.  OP, this is not to go back and hash through the whole coulda/shoulda/woulda thing, because the most important thing is you're protecting your child now.  But anyone else reading this thread, things like the bleeding from the rectum, all the vaginal discomfort, the digital penetration... if it's NEW for your child (especially the bleeding and the vaginal irritation), take your child to a trusted doctor.  Period, end of story.  That way you don't have to depend on your instincts or worry about who will judge you for accusing someone of something.  This is how you figure out if what your child is experiencing is common, is not a worry for your doc, or is a worry for your doc.

 

Sure, docs aren't perfect either.  But what broke my heart second most in OPs story (first heartbread of course is what her dd went through and OPs agonizing experience) is that many of the things, they were new.  Sudden changes in behavior are always always worth noting and looking into.  NOT getting stressed about or freaked out about right off the bat, but while of course children go through stages as they grow, some things are not stages, and if you don't know the difference or arent' sure, you should ask your Ped or someone you know knows kids (someone NOT in your family if you worry it's a family member hurting your child), and honestly run by them everything that's "new" and bothering you.  Here the child was acting up, was clearly going through stress with the visits... these are things to note, and ask the child about,a nd then ask some "expert" (ped, school social worker, anyone who is objective and can give you advice).

 

My heart just breaks because I know that for every person like OP brave enough to ask the question here or anywhere... there are so many others who are just too afraid, or doubt themselves too much, or it's too hard to believe someone is hurting their child.  But if it's new, and especially if it's sudden, and it's sexual or violent or really strange (to you) in nature... ask more questions of both your child and a professional.  Rectal bleeding, vaginal issues... have your child examined and be honest with your doc about what your fears are or what you don't want to happen (like OP was clear, no holding dd down).

 

OP please keep us up to date with what happens.  You did one of the hardest things ever and got past your fears to help your daughter.  She is lucky to have you as a parent, and I hope and pray (and believe!) that you'll both be ok.  And worlds better than if you hadn't acted!  Thanks for being brave enough to start the conversation.

post #139 of 143
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LROM View Post

OP you're a brave and amazing momma for taking action.  I am not suprised your daughter sees you as her hero... and I totally agree that this is just like you protecting her in a tornado or whatever was happening in that Walmart story you told.  Only difference is, a tornado/storm is very easy to perceive as a threat, and no one will judge you badly for yelling "STORM!" and trying to protect yoru daughter.  Child abuse is very different, as you've both experienced and are dealing with now.

 

OP it sounds like you've learned now that you should trust your momma instincts much much more.  I am really hoping that anyone else reading this thread, if you learn anything, it's this: no matter how hurtful/hard it is to think of someone you trust (or someone you fear) hurting your child, if your child has NEW SYMPTOMS that come up after visiting that person, you must must must look into it.  OP, this is not to go back and hash through the whole coulda/shoulda/woulda thing, because the most important thing is you're protecting your child now.  But anyone else reading this thread, things like the bleeding from the rectum, all the vaginal discomfort, the digital penetration... if it's NEW for your child (especially the bleeding and the vaginal irritation), take your child to a trusted doctor.  Period, end of story.  That way you don't have to depend on your instincts or worry about who will judge you for accusing someone of something.  This is how you figure out if what your child is experiencing is common, is not a worry for your doc, or is a worry for your doc.

 

Sure, docs aren't perfect either.  But what broke my heart second most in OPs story (first heartbread of course is what her dd went through and OPs agonizing experience) is that many of the things, they were new.  Sudden changes in behavior are always always worth noting and looking into.  NOT getting stressed about or freaked out about right off the bat, but while of course children go through stages as they grow, some things are not stages, and if you don't know the difference or arent' sure, you should ask your Ped or someone you know knows kids (someone NOT in your family if you worry it's a family member hurting your child), and honestly run by them everything that's "new" and bothering you.  Here the child was acting up, was clearly going through stress with the visits... these are things to note, and ask the child about,a nd then ask some "expert" (ped, school social worker, anyone who is objective and can give you advice).

 

My heart just breaks because I know that for every person like OP brave enough to ask the question here or anywhere... there are so many others who are just too afraid, or doubt themselves too much, or it's too hard to believe someone is hurting their child.  But if it's new, and especially if it's sudden, and it's sexual or violent or really strange (to you) in nature... ask more questions of both your child and a professional.  Rectal bleeding, vaginal issues... have your child examined and be honest with your doc about what your fears are or what you don't want to happen (like OP was clear, no holding dd down).

 

OP please keep us up to date with what happens.  You did one of the hardest things ever and got past your fears to help your daughter.  She is lucky to have you as a parent, and I hope and pray (and believe!) that you'll both be ok.  And worlds better than if you hadn't acted!  Thanks for being brave enough to start the conversation.


 

Thank you so much for your kind words. 

 

Initially, the only "alarm" that sounded was when she told me she was alone with teen bro's and they pulled her pants down.  I went to 2 message boards and simply asked, "Would you be concerned if your daughter said her teen bro's pulled her pants down?"...

 

The women responded with "yes I'd be concerned."  Accidentally, I mentioned about dd penetrating herself.  I noted that, "I know it's normal and didn't want dd to feel ashamed...."....

 

That's when women told me penetration at her age wasn't normal.  That's when I started to shake.  I searched my mind for her other behavior/symptoms.  I contacted 2 therapists...and then came here and listed all symptoms in the original post.

 

Had I not "accidentally" mentioned about dd penetrating (and people telling me that wasn't normal)...I wouldn't have picked up on all of this. 

 

Like you said, reaching out to "outsiders" who are objective really helped.  December 22 was the day we (her dad and I) saw her penetrating in the tub.  Jan 8 is when she told me about the pants being pulled down.  I just wasn't alarmed until Jan 8. 

 

Because I have a past of CSA, I was always afraid of jumping to conclusions.  DD coming home and "hurting when it peed"...I didn't want to jump to conclusions.  I just figured she was dirty (and his house IS dirty, from what I've heard).  The words of the ER doctor kept ringing in my head..."Now that she's had her first UTI, she will be more prone to getting future ones." 

 

UPDATE: 

 

DCFS closed the case, unfounded for lack of evidence.  I contacted a good lawyer who will help me fight if he takes me legal.  She was shocked that the case was closed to quickly (right at 2 weeks).  I briefly told her dd's behavior and she said, "Her behavior is very...odd.  And it is not normal for her to be penetrating herself.  Something is going on."  Without formally being my lawyer (not retained yet), she advised me on the phone, "Do. Not. Send. Her. With. Him."  So...I have a good lawyer who will fight for us. 

 

I've been told by numerous sources that dcfs is a joke.  I was told you have to fight this with your own resources--therapists, lawyer, etc. A dear friend of mine, who is a school teacher, told me "You're basically fighting the system now.  You're fighting the system that's supposed to protect children."  She has a stuident, 5th grade girl.  The girl went to her, saying she was bleeding badly from the rectum.  She took her to the school nurse.  Dad came and took girl to hospital.  Everyone, especially dad, knows this girl is being abused (by an older brother at the mother's house) but the girl won't admit to it.  Because the girl won't admit, the dad can't rescue her :(  It's all so sad.  The girl is afraid of losing her mom, which is why she is staying quiet.

 

DD has not disclosd anything in therapy yet.  Therapist says dd is very guarded and withholding something.  She displays an abnormally high amout of separation anxiety from me.  She believes, based on what she's witnessed, that something happened for dd to behave this way.  It's just a matter of paitence and praying that dd talks. 

 

 

post #140 of 143

Um...wow. Yeah, it does seem to be a joke. Esp since kids are, well, kids. They don't use logic the way adults do. If someone says to them "Don't ever tell your parents about this or you'll lose your parents", they aren't going to tell! They will freak out that they are going to lose their parents. I just fail to understand how after just two weeks they can claim there is no evidence. And the story about the fifth grade girl is absolutely heart wrenching. I'm so disgusted by it. So disgusted. 

 

How is her father reacting to all of this?

 

I sincerely hope your DD (and the other girl!) are able to open up soon. hug2.gif Hang in there, it will pull through. 

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